it wasn’t always like this,
for that’s all she can remember.
it wasn’t always like this.
she can feel the exhaustion creep,
Leaden, through her veins-
but the iron stains her lips.
soon, the wastebasket overflows with napkins, tissues, blotted, stained-
all remnants of her attempts to scour, to sweep away
what ought not to leave a mark.
it is strong,
but she forgets, day after day, night after night,
to take her medicine.
she knows it will improve.
she knows it’s not permanent,
and it’s bittersweet, for, she realizes,
that nothing’s ever set,
just a passing dream,
in a long and fretful night.
a teenage year.
i’m okay, She says.
but she knows that’s a lie.
she is lost.
She is so very, very tired.
but someone comes,
Day after day, night after night.
And gathers all the shattered things up, for an instant, into a warm
“if they aren’t now, they will be”
She is ready to believe.